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Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement
a Distinctively Christian Perspective of Home Education
Cindy Short and Sue Welch,
Co-Editors / http://www.TeachingHome.com
Table of Contents
Teaching Your Children To Be Thankful
• The Character Qualities of Joy
• Teaching About Thankfulness
• "To Be Thankful, You Must Be Thoughtful"
• "Count Your Blessings":
Activities for Thanksgiving Day -- and Beyond
• Provide Examples of Thankfulness
• Establishing the Habit of Thankfulness
Gift of the Magi: Christmas Outreach
A Life of Faith Dolls, Books, Girls' Club
Jean Welles' Guitar Video Courses
Calendator by Frigemates
Sunnyside Up: Humorous Anecdote
Our celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday
can be a
reminder and impetus to teach our children the important
character quality of thankfulness. In fact, we can make
thanksgiving a way of life, not just a one-day event.
Gratitude is related to the character quality
of joy. A
life of thankfulness is a life of joy!
May your family enjoy a time of rejoicing as
and thank God for the blessings that He has heaped upon us,
praising Him for Who He is and thanking Him for what He has done.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;
Make known His
deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness
1 Chronicles 16:7-9; 34
May the Lord bless you and your family for
The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian
The Teaching Home is a home-school, family-run business
operated in our home since 1980.
Teaching Your Children To Be Thankful
Thankfulness is an attitude, an attribute,
worldview. If your child adopts a grateful mindset and maintains
it throughout his life it will contribute to your child's:
• Relationships with the Lord and others.
• Happiness; causing him to be content with what he has
complain about what he doesn't have.
Thankfulness, or gratitude, belongs to a group
following related character qualities:
The Character Qualities of Joy
"Choosing to be satisfied and at peace with
what God has
provided, without complaining."
• Also: cheerfulness, hope, peace.
• See I Tim. 6:5, 6, 8; Phil. 4:11; Heb. 13:5.
"Recognizing, appreciating, and acknowledging
• Also: appreciation, gratefulness, thankfulness.
• See Eph. 5:19-20; Col. 2:6-7; I Tim. 4:4-5; I Thess.
"Delighting in the service and presence of
God regardless of
• Also: zeal, enthusiasm, heartiness, eagerness.
• See Ps. 100:2; Rom. 12:11; Prov. 15:13; Ps. 35:9.
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come to life as lovely dolls. Faith-based
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and experience a lifestyle of faith!
Teaching About Thankfulness
Thankfulness needs to be taught. It
does not come naturally
to fallen human beings.
1. Teach What Thankfulness Means
Start by explaining the following to your
provides direction and motivation for your study of this topic.
• What gratitude or thankfulness is and how and why it is
part of the character quality of Joy.
• Why it pleases and honors God.
"Therefore by Him let us continually offer
the sacrifice of
praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to
His name" Hebrews 13:15.
• How it will make them, and those around them, joyful.
2. Teach What God Says about Thankfulness
You might want to do this during your regular
and devotional time. Depending on the time you want to take and
the age of your children, address all four qualities of joy (see
above) at once, or just one or two each day.
• Read and discuss the material presented above on Joy.
• Look up and read the scriptures suggested for each
characteristic. Using a concordance,
look up other references.
• God commands us to be thankful.
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful" Colossians
• Consider the results of unthankfulness in Romans 1:21:
"For even though they knew God, they did not
honor Him as
God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations,
and their foolish heart was darkened."
3. Memorize Scriptures.
Memorize, review, and meditate on specific
passages related to thankfulness. See those given above or use
those selected from your own study.
• Hold hands around the Thanksgiving table and
Quote Psalm 100 and/or your selected memory
Sing an appropriate hymn or chorus of praise
• This tradition can be expanded for every day of the year.
When growing up, our family held hands and
sang "Thank You,
Lord" before prayer at dinner every day.
4. Talk about Thankfulness in the Context of Daily Living.
Throughout the day there are a multitude of
for your children to hear you say aloud, "Thank you, Lord, for .
. ." or for you to talk about something for which you are
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"To Be Thankful, You Must Be Thoughtful"
This is what our father taught his large family
children. It is easy to take for granted the many gifts that
has given to us unless we stop and think about them.
1. Consider Others
One way to think about your own blessings
is to consider
those who have less, as articulated in the proverb "I complained
because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet."
In America today we can find many people that
have more than
we do. This tends to make us and our children discontent.
fact, the secular media's featuring of the rich and famous,
combined with commercials that are intended to make you crave
more, is a good reason to turn off your TV for good.)
On the other hand, your family can find those
that have less than you do in terms of physical, family, and
spiritual blessings. Looking farther from home to the poor of
Africa can show us the relative luxuries even the poorest of us
possess (e.g., water!).
2. Our Response
Besides providing a reminder to be thankful,
examples prompt a practical compassion in your family as you find
ways to share your blessings.
• The best blessing you can share is the good news of God's
love and forgiveness.
• Especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas times, rescue
missions appreciate gifts that enable them
to provide meals
and/or beds for the homeless.
• Look for someone in your church that doesn't have family
nearby and invite them to share your Thanksgiving
other meals with you.
3. Thanks for What We Do Have
The example of looking at a glass of water
as being either
half empty or half full illustrates the two ways that we can view
our lives. Teach your children:
• Instead of dwelling on your problems, look at your blessings
and thank the Lord for them.
• Instead of looking at how bad a situation is, look at
much worse it could have been and thank the
Lord it wasn't.
the FUN Back into the Teaching
Learning of Mathematics!
Designed for home schooling families.
experiences and games described in this series complement any math
curriculum you use, or you can use them as your primary source of
instruction. Also available are e-books and a free newsletter.
"Count Your Blessings"
Activities for Thanksgiving Day -- and Beyond
There are many ways to do this each day; the
following are a
few suggestions for Thanksgiving Day.
1. Thanksgiving Tree
• Draw a leafless tree on a piece of butcher paper or
posterboard. (You can also open up a
paper grocery bag to
use as a large piece of paper.)
• Cut out leaves from colored paper and write (or have
children draw) something for which you are
thankful on each
• Tape or glue them to the tree.
2. Continue All Year Long
• Decorate a box or basket to hold notes of thanksgiving.
• Add to notes all year long and review them occasionally,
well as on next Thanksgiving Day.
3. Your Family Thanksgiving Service
After your Thanksgiving feast, gather your
friends for a time of:
• Singing hymns and songs of praise
• Recounting to each other the blessings of the Lord
• Thanking Him together in prayer
• Reading or quoting Bible verses or passages on thankfulness
and God's blessings.
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Provide Examples of Thankfulness
The most powerful influence on your child's
example, for better or worse. You can help your child by
providing good examples of thankfulness and avoiding or pointing
out examples of unthankfulness.
The example you set is primary. As your
you being thankful throughout the ups and downs of your life,
they will be more likely to become thankful themselves.
"Do not be deceived: 'Bad company corrupts
good morals'" (I
Children who watch a lot of commercials on
TV, especially at
this season of the year, will probably develop intense desires
for things they do not have, rather than being thankful for what
they do have.
Like-minded friends who show a spirit of thankfulness
a positive influence on your children.
3. Examples in Scripture
God has given us many examples in Scripture
behavior for our edification and of wrong behavior for our
• David is the most prominent example; he wrote hundreds
verses in the Psalms that show forth his thankful
• Job, in the midst of his loss and misery, and Paul and
in prison, are prime examples of praise and
"But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying
hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them"
4. Examples in Stories and Literature
Look for and comment on examples of contentment,
and joyfulness (or their opposites) in your children's and your
• Family Read-Aloud Time
Spend an hour at a time reading uplifting
as a family on a regular basis.
• Include Evaluation
Follow your reading with a discussion of the
qualities displayed or other spiritual principles.
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Establishing the Habit of Thankfulness
Help your children establish and maintain
the habit of
1. Start with the Attitude
If your children assume that they "deserve"
they will not be thankful for them.
• Help your children understand our dependency upon God
everything we are and have.
"For in Him we live and move and exist" (Acts
• Teach your children what God says about being content
only food and covering.
"But godliness actually is a means of great
accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the
world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have
food and covering, with these we shall be content" (I Timothy
• Explain that anything God or others do for us, or give
an occasion for our thankfulness.
2. "Please" and "Thank You"
Include thankfulness in the basic rules of
courtesy that you
set for your family.
• Teaching your young child to say "Please" and "Thank You"
whenever he asks for, or is given, anything
is a practical
way to teach him to be thankful and to show
• Start by saying it for him at appropriate times, even
he can talk.
• A gentle reminder and later (or for older children) a
while waiting for them to say "please" or
"thank you," if
consistent, will soon establish the habit.
• You might review this rule with your older children to
advantage as well.
• Make sure your children thank others outside your home
they are given something, are wished something
Birthday" or "Have a good day"), or have a
such as opening a door or being served a meal.
3. Reinforcing the Habit
• Discuss good examples of thankfulness, such as how good
makes you feel to receive a prompt and handwritten
card from a friend.
• Have your child keep a Thankful Diary in which he writes
the things he is thankful for and checks off
those for which
he has expressed thanks.
Please Thank and Support
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Systematic Mathematics: Modular Math Instruction on DVD
Print To Learn Phonics Charts
Microscope Store: Teaching Compound Microscope
Audio Memory: Teaching Songs
Sunnyside Up: Cubist Referee
I found out in an unusual place -- at a baseball
game -- that
our son's art education was sticking.
Coaches, players, and parents on both teams
frustrated at the umpire's erratic calls. A pitch practically in
the dirt was called a strike, and one flying over the center of
the plate and striking the catcher's mitt was called a ball.
As we walked away from the game shaking our
heads, out son
summed it up for all of us when he commented, "He had a strike
zone like Picasso."
Submitted by Martha B., Washington
God Loves You.
Because we have been separated from God by
Christ died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust
Him as our Savior and Lord, He will give us eternal life.
"For by grace you have been saved through
faith; and that
not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of
works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
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